Donegal South-West TD Thomas Pringle has called for Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to take a step back following a heated altercation which took place at Gweebarra River last weekend between IFI officials and local anglers.

“This incident is reflective of the bad feeling over a number of years between the Donegal Game Angling Federation (DGAF), and the IFI regarding the dispute over €50 per day IFI permits which are the subject of an ongoing dispute in the courts.

“After a morning spent fishing on the Mayo Pool last Sunday, members of the Fintown Angling Club and the Rosses Angling Club, under the umbrella of the DGAF, were confronted by IFI staff and asked to produce the IFI permits. The situation then escalated requiring involvement by the Gardaí.

“I would call on the IFI to respectfully back away while the issue of the permits is before the courts. This situation escalated when those fishing were asked to produce the permits, which are the subject of an ongoing dispute in the courts, but as this is an issue before the courts it is the courts that should make the decision and no one else. Heavy-handed tactics such as those displayed over the weekend will only ensure that someone gets hurt.

“Any intimidation against people going about their daily business is most unwelcome and I am calling for an end to the approach taken by the IFI on this matter,” stated Pringle.

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